Summary: Kharon sends Foxbat-4 to go see what's up on Scorpia.
Date: PHD 198
Related Logs: Resistance Scouting

The lights are dimmed in the ready room this evening, save for a bank of halogens up front, illuminating the podium area and perhaps a little of the front row of seats. The CAG's in his blues uniform, facing away from the door. One hand's in his trouser pocket, the other grasping a cup of coffee which he sips from occasionally. A file folder sits atop the podium itself, and a stack of data boxes next to it.

The hatch creaks its genteel warning of impending company and a Kissybear (or Madman, rather) steps in, dressed to the nines. Or at least a flightsuit. He seems just about ready to jump into a boat and wait for orders, but for the helmet, which is presumably awaiting his return to the Raptor, and the gloves, which have been tucked under his armpit in the off-chance he needs to write something down. For a brief moment he stops there, fighting his habitual custom of peeling off into the furthest row. This being a meeting of a rather smaller group than normal, he trods down the steps all the way to the front. "Sir," he utters by way of a note of greeting.

Kitty arrives hot on Matto's heels, she too dressed in her flight gear. A salute is snapped in near-unison, her hand lifted to her brow just a hair after the pilot. "Sir." The fact that it's only them along with the CAG escapes her notice for now, Kitty a tad too nervous to notice such details for now.

Matto's 'sir' does its job in garnering the Captain's attention, where the grind of the hatch and the thumping of boots did not. Marek twists to glance over his shoulder, mid-sip, and nods to both Lieutenants. He's careful to swallow before saluting, then speaking. "Have a seat. I'll make this short, since you've both got a little prep work to do." The room's given a vague gesture with his coffee cup, which is promptly set aside.

Matto eases out of the straight-backed posture he'd assumed, taking a step back and bending his backmost knee to ease himself down into a convenient front-row chair, one leg stuck out in front of him, the other knee drawn up, toe on the ground, a moderate tension in his frame, but his usual easiness of gaze in his dark green eyes as he watches Marek, not with intensity, but with attention, no less, an amiably anticipatory stare.

Crybaby gives Kai a faint smile before sitting herself, picking a seat opposite Kissy's dominant hand. A pencil is extracted from somewhere and her notepad's opened to a blank page, the ECO prepping to take notes for Matto much like an aide might for an employer.

Kai doesn't seem bothered by the stare, in either case. His usual case of nerves when giving briefings is conspicuously absent tonight; almost certainly due to the fact that there's only two of them. Or maybe he's just getting better at hiding it. He slides a sheet of paper out of his folder, and passes it to Matto— since Kitty's got the job of transcribing, it seems like. "These are jump coordinates for you to plot. As you can see, they'll take you into Scorpia's orbit. As you can also see, it's going to be tricky to pull off. You're going to be trying to do in three jumps what you'd normally do in seven. Which is why.." He glances to Kitty. "You're going to need to pre-spool and double buffer the calculations. I'm sure you're more than capable, Ajtai." Back to Matto. "Your mission will be to attempt to make contact with the Paros bunker again. You'll have a thirty minute window, though it might be a hell of a lot less if that basestar is still kicking around. If you're able to make contact, you get as much information on their current status as you can, and you get back out again as soon as possible. The instant you see red-" Meaning enemy contacts on DRADIS. "-you bug out. Any questions?"

Matto looks down at the coordinates, brows rising as he recognizes them, mouth opening slightly. His eyes flick upward toward Kai again, remaining on him as he talks. It's not an unnerving stare in the least, or a stare-down type of thing. Just gently but decidedly attentive. When questions are called for, he asks, "Is the thirty-minute window a thirty-minute window to make contact, or a thirty-minute window total? That is, should we make contact in fifteen minutes, are we to stay as long as we need to chat provided there's no company, or at the thirty minute mark are we hanging up the phone and cutting out?"

Kitty looks up and stares at the CAG, something said by Kai surprising her. "Pre-spool and double buffer. Yes, sir." Pursing her lips, she gives Kissy a quick look before working on writing everything down, the sound of pencil lead being applied to the paper sounding in soft scratches.

"Thirty minutes total," Marek confirms, voice characteristically bland. "The better to keep tabs on you. It shouldn't take longer than that to say what needs saying. Your bird'll be armed with a couple of communications drones, in case you run into trouble and can't jump back here within the allotted time frame." Kitty gets a brief glance, and then his hands slide into his pockets. "That's all I've got for you. With luck, it should be a fairly simple in and out. See how they're doing down there, return home, report." There's a flicker of something across his eyes, though it's not readily spoken of.

Matto sets the hand not holding the coordinates palm-down on his thigh as if about to stand, but he doesn't, not yet. He bobs his head in a casual affirmative to the latter description of the mission. Jump there, thirty minutes, jump back. "Yes, sir, Captain," he adds, confident enough without being cocky. Kissy can't really pull off cocky. Keeping it business, nothing more from him, just waiting for that magic word.

Kitty is too busy writing down important information to catch Marek looking at her, the ECO calmly and dutifully doing so until she has everything note-worthy put down. "Yes sir." With that done, she closes her pad and the stub of pencil is tucked into the wire spiral binding, those then tucked back from wherever they came from to begin with.

"All right, you've got about fifteen minutes to skids up." Kai glances at his watch briefly to confirm, then attempts a faint smile for the pair. "Good hunting, and gods speed your return." The sentiment is offered almost gently. For Marek, anyway, who tends to speak in various shades of abrasive.

Matto returns the smile, almost a 'd'aww' sort of look. The Marek does care. "Thanks, Captain," he offers, sounding as though he's taken the CAG's blessing to heart rather than as a simple formula. He pushes on his knee and heaves himself forward and up, uncurling to a brief attention before turning and passing in front of Kitty, then turning again and heading upstairs and out.

"Thank you, sir." As comfortable as the ready room chairs are, Kitty gets up with little regret, giving the CAG a salute and also a smile. "See you when we get home," she adds. Pleasantries and goodbyes swiftly given, she turns and leaves, not more than three feet behind Matto as they make with their exit.


Matto takes up his helmet from the habitually empty co-pilot's seat on his way in and sets it on his lap. Beginning the final systems check, his fingers clatter over combinations of keys and switches, in between bursts of which he affixes his helmet, straps in, checks helmet, checks gloves, checks strappage. "We're going green green green up front, Crybaby. How're we in back?"

It takes Kitty a bit longer to get things ready on her end, the settings taking a hair longer to get set up as she has to make sure everything's just right. "Okay, Madman, we're green and running hot." She gives Matto a smile and even a thumb's up, the ECO actually looking like she's going to enjoy this run even if she is a bit nervous.

"I hear you, Crybaby," Kisseus calls back confirmation, then switches on comm imput.

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, reporting Foxbat-4 green front and back for launch on your mark."

[STC] "Knight" Praxis says, "Madman, this is Kharon. Your skies are clear, proceed with launch. Good hunting - we'll keep the coffee hot."

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, I hear you. Sending comm probe encryptions your way to confirm link; launching in three. Two."

[STC] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, reporting Foxbat-4 launched and proximity cleared."

[STC] "Knight" Praxis says, "Madman, Kharon. Switch to TAC3 upon egress and count down your jump when ready. Copy, receiving."

Kitty smiles as she looks at the screen and then out the viewport, taking in the sight of the hagar's interor. "Will buy you a cup of it when we get back," she murmurs, playfully adding a bit to the XO's playful comment. As the Raptor's loaded into the launch tube she grows quiet, letting Kissy do his thing.
"Give me an ETA on that first jump, Crybaby?" Kissy calls back, setting a standard pre-jump angle away from the vessel.

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, wilco."

"One minute to jump," Kitty sings out, the ETA given after one last check of the readout. Her harness is checked at the same time, Ajtai making for certain that she's not going to fly out of her seat if they happen to have a mishap or something.

Matto prods a one on a keypad somewhere and a minute cheerfully begins ticking down up near eye level. "Slick," he calls back, checking a few pertinent systems. Still green, but never hurts to check.

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, we are thirty seconds to jump on my mark… … … mark."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Ten seconds to jump. … Five, four, three, two."

Reality twists and bends as the Raptor jumps its way to Scorpia. Emerging on the other side in a wink of light, they find themselves alone. No sign of the base star that chased away Kharon, nor any other Cylon raiders for that matter.

Even as the first jump gets underway Kitty's already working on a second, calculating all but the coordinates and similar details, keeping it at the ready for when needed. "Looks clear, Madman. So far so good." She wets her lips with the tip of her tongue as she watches, much like the hungry cat that watches out for birds.

Even as the first jump gets underway Kitty's already working on number two of three, calculating all but the coordinates and similar details, keeping it at the ready for when she is aboslutely positive as to what they'll be before entering them. She wets her lips with the tip of her tongue as she watches, much like the hungry cat that watches out for birds.

"Schoen, schoen," Kisseus murmurs to himself, then takes a deep breath as if smelling the fresh air way out here in the middle of nothing, looking over systems. "Nothing fritzed in the jump, we're set up here as soon as you get spooled again, Crybaby."

Reality twists and bends as the Raptor jumps its way to Scorpia. Emerging on the other side in a wink of light, they find themselves alone. No sign of the base star that chased away Kharon, nor any other Cylon raiders for that matter. The Raptor makes its way into orbit without difficulty.

"And we're back," Kissy notes, smiling, pleased, when he spots Scorpia out the window. Big ol' planet-lookin' thing. Hard to miss. He taps in the thirty-minute deadline to start counting it down, hundredths of seconds whirring by in a blur. "How're we looking, Crybaby? Company?"

Now at their destination, Kitty watches the DRADIS all the more attentively, her eyes held to its screen while she keeps tabs on what's going on. "We're clear," she says with a soft huff of relief. "Guess we can start counting down our half hour."

Matto feeds the first set of encryption keys into the comms. "Way ahead of you, there. Plot a jump out of here for emergency spool-up in case company comes by. If not, begin to spool up at the two minute mark. Don't want to make Marek wait at the window." Then, clearing his throat, he opens the coded comm line, trying to bring up the base. "This is Foxbat-4 of CEC Kharon raising Paros Bunker. Paros, Madman, do you hear?"

After a moment, the radio crackles back, a startled voice saying, "Oh, umm, Parson Bunker here." The man sounds a little uncertain. "Kharon! We thought you'd forgotten about us."

The FTL is kept at the ready and the jump back home is calculated, Kitty looking straight ahead. When contact is made again she takes a deep breath and smiles. "Well, listen to that." Stranger or not, the man's voice is like listening to an angel sing.

Matto smiles brightly. "Parson Bunker, Madman, you're in our thoughts. For right now we're just stopping by to get your sitrep and take it home to the Big Brass. So. What's what down there, dude?"

The man on the com at Paros replies, "Hang on, Madman. I've got to patch you over to the boss. One second." Hopefully his technical skills are better than his grasp of military radio protocol. There's a brief delay, and then he says. "OK, here you go. Jo, you're on. Good to hear from you, guys!" At that point, the voice changes, this time to a woman's. "Kharon pilots, this is Paros command. Who am I speaking with?"

A quick notation of the time is made as is the readings, Kitty listening as well although with half an ear as she as her attention where it needs to be.

Matto doesn't mind much the informal dialogue, but he takes the opportunity of the transfer to begin recording the comm line. All the better to have later. "Paros command, this is Lieutenant Matto, callsign Madman. We've got twenty seven minutes and thirty seconds left in our mission window. Mission objectives are to obtain as complete a situation report from you as possible and return to base to report," he lays it all out there on the line in a warm tone but with undoubtably professional diction.

"Acknowledged, Madman. This is Joanna Archer, former Staff Sergeant with the 23rd," Joanna replies. "I've assumed command of the Paros force. Strength is 32 combat-effective plus about the same number of non-combatants. We've begun recon of the surrounding area in earnest, and have encountered light resistance so far. A few engagements have resulted in minimal enemy losses with no friendly casualties. Believe there to be other survivors in this general area, including several hundred located in a Cylon prisoner/work camp west of Tinos."

"Frak." Kitty looks over towards Kissy for a moment, her face pale at the news, the mere thought of those captured by the Cylon enough to drain her face of its color. She recovers quickly however and gets back on the job.

Matto's lips purse together a little and his brows draw. "Archer, Madman; A work camp? What are they working on? And how are you on supplies? Not that I can promise aid, but Kharon's been looking into scavenging in a few other locations."

"Madman, seems to be a mining operation of some sort. It's at the site of an old dried-up copeer mine. Their objective unknown. We're uploading our recon data on the facility." Joanna says, and sure enough a data stream is detected over the wireless, should they wish to accept it. "Estimate there to be about four hundred people being held there, working under duress. We've observed them execute several out of hand, for minor infractions, and…" there's just a slightest hesitation before she says, "We saw them carting out about a dozen bodies from one of their buildings there in a single day. Enemy strength approximately forty Centurions in the camp itself, plus dozens more within five miles in the city proper. Two aircraft observed on site. We request urgent support for a strike on this facility. Re: supplies, we're ok on essentials - food, water, clothes. Arms and armor are a priority if you can spare any."

"Archer, Madman," Kissy begins, again, accepting the data stream. "Downloading recon data. We'll report your needs back to our commander. Have you already planned the strike? When are you going to attack?" he asks further, keeping his questions brisk and simple.

"Madman, we'll await word from you," Joanna replies, matching his brisk tone. "Chance of successful attack without your support not good. Request your commander respond within 7 days if able. Otherwise we'll explore other options."

"Archer, Madman, will relay your request," Kisseus responds. He can't promise anything himself, of course, but there's a confidence in his voice that doesn't yield to the helplessness of being able to say only that. He is fairly certain, after all, that this thing will get done. "Is there anything else before we have to go? You mentioned being lacking in arms and armor. Any specific armaments or artillery on your wish list? What sort of weapons are you using?"

"Madman, we've got a handful of milspec vests and helmets but not enough for anyone by far," Joanna replies. "Arms are mostly SMI-80's, so ammo for those would be a priority. Particularly AP/explosive rounds if you have them. Heavy weapons, explosives, anything you can spare would be appreciated. We have a number of ex-military who know how to use them." There's a moment before Jo adds. "Also please send to your commander request to evacuate our non-combatants at earliest opportunity."

"Archer, Madman, I -will- do so," Kissy pledges. "We're going to be starting to spool up here in a couple of seconds. I've got your numbers; arms wish list; request for a seven-day window on confirmation for a joint strike attack on the facility detailed in the recon data; request for civilian evac. Anything else you'd like to tell the folk back on Kharon?"

"Madman, just pass on that we're carrying on the fight down here. Appreciate your support. Safe flight back," Jo wishes sincerely. "Archer clear."

"Archer, Madman. I hear you. Hang in there. Madman out." And he shuts off the comm line and recording together with one loud click.

"Kept her on the ready…." Kitty says, soundng sad. "Jump in thirty seconds." Seems like she set the countdown short, maybe out of the desire to get out of a potentially hostile situation if the Cylon are to suddenly put in a visit of their own or maybe it's due to just wanting to get home. Whatever it is, they will be on their way in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Matto doesn't have anyone to tell that they're counting down, so he just flicks through all the greenlights on the console again. Yup. All good. He's quiet, up there. Keeping whatever he might be feeling in until he gets off the boat.

The Raptor's FTL kicks in and the small ship and her passengers begin their flighth home, doing what's basically a one-ship leaprfrog all the way home, her ECO quiet as well except when ETAs are announced.


[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman— did you miss us? Reporting successful jump and setting course for Kharon's proximity. Permission to RTB?"

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "Welcome home, Madman. Our nails are trimmed down to the flesh in anticipation of your arrival. Kharon reports the airspace around the deck is clear, pack it in and RTB."

[TAC3] "Madman" Matto says, "Kharon, Madman, packing it in. Uploading to you two files; file a is a set of recon data taken by those installed in Parson Bunker at Paros; file b is a recording of our mission communications for your records. Entering Kharon proximity and passing into the bay. Landing in three."

[TAC3] "Knight" Praxis says, "Madman, Kharon. Received your data and transmission. Thank you, Kharon out."

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